Men – Do You Know What Health Screening Tests You Should Have?
Men are less likely than women to get routine physical exams and screenings. A survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that 55% of men surveyed had not seen their doctor for a physical exam in the previous year, even though 40% of them had at least one chronic condition. Nearly one-fifth of men ages 55 and over said they had never undergone screening for colon cancer, and almost 30% said they “wait as long as possible” to seek medical attention when they are feeling sick or in pain.
Screening means testing for diseases and conditions that may not yet be causing symptoms. If you already have a disease or condition, more frequent testing may be required. Here are some important tests to discuss with your doctor.
There are seven recommended health screening tests that all men should consider having run in the interest of their own good health and long life. All seven tests may not apply to all men. Four of these tests, however, do apply to all men at different ages.
Health Screening Tests for Cholesterol
Most men just don’t believe they have High Cholesterol and don’t take the time to have it checked.
For most men, you should have your cholesterol checked every 5 years starting at 35.
However, if you smoke, have diabetes, or if heart disease runs in your family, you need to start testing at the early age of 20 and consult your primary health care physician for your health screening.
If you are overweight – you need to get that check up now no matter what your age.
Testing Your Blood Pressure
You should have your Blood Pressure checked at least every 2 years. You need to see your physician for this. The blood pressure machines at the corner drug store may need calibration and are not accurate.
High blood pressure does not have any symptoms and you won’t even know you have a problem until it is too late and a stroke cuts you off at the knees.
Colorectal Cancer Health Screening Tests
Regular Colorectal Cancer testing should begin at 50. There is more than one kind of test available, so don’t chicken out. Just get it done.
If you have high blood pressure and or high cholesterol, your physician is going to test for Diabetes. If you are overweight, your physician is probably going to run this screen at the same time as the cholesterol screening.
Prostate Cancer Health Screening
Talk to your doctor about the possible benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening if you are considering having a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal examination (DRE).
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
You need to be up front with your physician on this subject. You also need to consider an HIV problem if you have ever had a blood transfusion. Hiding your head in the sands of denial will not change the reality of the situation.
This is probably the most controversial subject after sexually transmitted diseases. Many men were brought up to “bite the bullet” and keep quiet about any problems they are having. Generations of women have complained that their men just don’t share.
Everyone goes through periods of depression occasionally and for most people those periods only last for a few days and it is easy to say the reason why you are depressed. There are certain “acceptable” reasons for depression – losing a job, illness or death of a loved-one, or work stress just to name a few.
However, if you’ve felt sad, or hopeless, or have little interest or pleasure in doing things or if you just want to sleep all the time for a period of 2 weeks straight, talk to your doctor. You might find that with just a little help you can get back to your normal happy self.
Do not allow your physician to just put you on anti-depressants. Taking pills without doing something to change the situation or your attitude will only make it worse in the long run.
Remember guys, Real Men Take Care of Themselves in order to take care of others. Real Men Ask for Help and Directions when necessary. Real Men take steps to insure they will be around to bounce their great-grandchildren on their knee.